Researcher Miguel Angel Escalona says that if the trend of not avoiding the use of plastic bags continues, there could be a public health problem due to the effects of microplastics in the short term.
In an interview, he emphasized that none of the plastic is degradable and that its polluting effects are environmental but also affect the human body, because the consumption estimates of these particles, although they seem small, are actually significant. Are.
How do microplastics enter the food chain?
The leakage of plastics into the food chain is real because it suggests that when plastics begin to decompose into smaller particles they end up in the ocean and come back to us when we eat fish and shellfish. Furthermore, it details that they are so small that they can be in the air without being detected when we inhale them; Consciously or unknowingly, we are consuming microplastics.
A 2019 analysis by Dahlberg at Australia’s Newcastle University concluded that per week, humans consume five grams of plastic. According to a study conducted in animal models at the University of Vienna, Miguel Ángel Escalona noted that microplastic particles would be associated with an increased risk of inflammation and brain disorders, which are linked to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Biologists and doctors in agroecology, sociology and sustainable rural development emphasize that even plastic bags with the legend “biodegradable” are contaminated: “If they are not in the right conditions of temperature and oxygen, they will not degrade ”
In referring to these bags, he recalls Jevons’ Paradox, which states that when there is apparently a technological solution to a problem, research shows that consumption tends to increase.
Thus, there will be people who see that the bag is biodegradable, do not worry anymore and use it more with the confidence of a technological solution, even though it is known that many resources and energy are required to manufacture it.
Within the framework of World Environment Day, which is celebrated on June 5, the research professor explains that it is not enough to give “likes” to publications on social networks with the aim of caring for the environment, we must act.
“We must be co-responsible for the common home; Let’s think about future generations because the planet we have inherited is a compromise with the environment and it is not fair,” he says.
Read more: 4 out of 10 coffee growers in the region prefer to abandon the crop
How to avoid microplastics?
Among his suggestions is to resort to the “domestic micropolitics” of Victor Toledo, who points out that it all begins at home: “It is in the families where plastic distribution should be encouraged.”
Another option he names is to go back to selling in bulk with product shipped in reusable containers or cones. Using reusable bottles and shopping with containers are other suggestions.
“At first it may be a can but later it becomes a daily act,” says the environmentalist, who proposes to continue segregating waste and getting involved in recycling.
It also invites you not to miss June with Ambiente, a party in favor of the planet that starts today and will last until June 30 with various activities in Xalapa and Coatepec.
(tags to translate) Xalapa